Measuring Success – Are you aware of the metrics within your particular field/vocation/etc.?

February 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

The ability to measure success is an important part of any goal or aspiration. If there are not measurables, you will not only preform at a lower level, but you will also miss out on the important psychological benefits of feeling accomplished. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Figure out what ‘success’ looks like. Oftentimes our idea of success and how it is actually measured in our field is very different. For example, the only real measure of success in academia is publishing. Teaching, getting good grades, attending meetings, etc. are all things that you must balance, but at the end of the day publishing reigns supreme. See Cal Newport’s extensive post about success in academia.
  2. Take it from an intangible idea and turn it into a concrete goal. “Doing well in school” –> “Getting a 3.7 gpa.” “Acquiring new clients” –> “Getting 6 new clients by the end of April.”
  3. Turn the goal into actionable steps. What will it take to accomplish that goal?
  4. Turn the steps into monthly, weekly, and daily meters. Accomplish those, move onto the next, and you’re goal will be attained. Think Covey’s big rocks constantly (Here’s a video that illustrates the concept if you’ve never heard of it).
  5. Ruthlessly cut out (or minimize/optimize/automate) unnecessary responsibilities that feel productive, but don’t really result in measurable success. Examples include responding to email, side projects, meetings, etc.

GRE Prep Schedule and Breakdown – 2 month plan for high scoring

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Weekly/Monthly Schedule

Sunday – Thursday, 2 hours/day = 10 hours/week
Friday, 4 hour practice test = 4 hours/week
Saturday, OFF

Total: 14 hours/week
2 months prep = 112 hours total


Vocabulary – 30 minutes/day

10 new words/day from Manhattan GRE 500 essential and 500 advanced words
Daily review using Anki (spaced repitition)
Goal: Learn all 1,000 manhattan words

Verbal – 30 minutes/day

I read scores of scholarly journal articles each day for my M.A. program, so reading comprehension is not a serious concern for me. On my previous GRE I scored a 166v. If this is not a strength, add in reading 2ish articles from Academic Journals or popular press sources like The New Yorker or The Economist.


1 chapter Princeton Review/day (until finished)
1 chapter Manhattan/day
10 Magoosh practice questions/day

Quantitative – 60 minutes/day

This is my primary focus. I scored right at 150 on my previous GRE. My goal is to get accepted into a top 10 Business PhD program, which requires at least a 160quant and ideally a score > 165.


1 hour studying/day
Princeton Review (until finished) (UPDATE: Finished PR)
Manhatten GRE Quant Books (#1-6) (until finished) (UPDATE: Finished #1 & #2)
Once books are finished, 1 hour/day of practice questions using Magoosh and Manhattan 5lb practice book.

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